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CDC Provides Clarification Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids

Posted in Pharmaceuticals

In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published guidelines for prescribing opioids, which in large part was aimed at addressing the opioid epidemic. On  February 28, 2019, the CDC chief medical officer released a letter (which was embargoed until April 9, 2019) to clarify the guidelines for prescribing opioids. Many in the industry criticized the guidelines for being misapplied and denying patients much needed relief. One of the key issues was that payers had strictly adopted the guidelines and were denying opioid prescriptions for patients that otherwise needed the drugs. The letter, among other things, explains that the guidelines weren’t intended for patients undergoing cancer treatment. The letter notes that, “[c]hronic pain is common and multidimensional, and patients deserve safe and effective pain management.”

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